So, it has been a while since I’ve jotted down any thoughts on here. Certainly doesn’t mean I haven’t had any thoughts to jot down. I have! In fact, I tend to think of a topic or have an adventure or see something or experience something worth blogging about just about every day! I think “I need to write about this” and even think through the spin I’ll put on it and how I’ll compose it. But, then, I get off on something else and don’t do it. So, it isn’t for lack of inspiration. And, it certainly isn’t for lack of time, either! I always have a lot going on, but there is time to write, if I just put my mind to it. The last possible excuse would be lack of interest, but that isn’t true, either! I really enjoy coming up with things to write about and the actual process of putting them in a blog. So, I can’t think of a single reason why I don’t jot something down every day or at least a couple of times a week………I just don’t! With that said, I’m going to attempt to get some recent thoughts and activities out there.
There was a time when having words with your friends meant sitting down for a chat or calling them on the telephone – having a physical face-to-face (or at least an actually spoken) conversation – or perhaps writing a letter with a pen and paper and mailing it to them in an envelope with a postage stamp on it. Then along came technology and email and texting and Facebook – the end, it seems, of face-to-face conversations and handwritten notes. But, now, Words With Friends has a whole NEW meaning and it has nothing to do with conversations or communicating at all. You see, Words With Friends is a game you play online with…..you got it…..friends! I know, this isn’t a new game – it has been around a long time, now. But, it is new to me! My nephew, Bryan, got me hooked on it a little over a week ago and I’ve been playing it like an addict ever since! I love it and using the words “hooked” and “addicted” are serious understatements! Words With Friends is a form of Scrabble. You get letters and use them to form connecting words on a board for points with a partner. The concept and basic rules are the same. The differences, though, are what makes it even better than Scrabble……..and I always did enjoy a good game of Scrabble! First, you can play with a friend who lives across town, across the state, or across the county! You can have multiple games going with multiple friends from all over the place – like, right now, I think I have at least five active games with friends in NY, NC, RI, and FL – all at the same time! I choose to play with actual friends I know, but you can also play with random strangers, if you want to widen your partner base. In regular Scrabble, you don’t know if an odd combination of letters might make up a word you never heard of before – but, in Words With Friends, you can play with the letters to try odd combinations and the game will tell you if it is an actual word or not – it won’t accept it, if it isn’t a word! Also, a game may last several hours or several days – your partner may play a word or a few words and then log off and go to work or tend to some errands and come back to it later in the day. That can be somewhat frustrating, if you have the time and want to keep playing………but, they may also end up waiting for you to play your word while you’re off doing stuff, so it goes both ways. That’s also the benefit of having multiple games going at once – if one game goes idle while that friend is busy, another game may gear up for a few rounds. It is exciting to log on after being out and about and finding that it is your turn on a couple of boards! So, that’s my new little guilty pleasure - Words With Friends!
Shopping is another activity that has taken on a new meaning for me, lately. A few months ago, I started “church shopping”. When I was growing up here in Albion, my family church was the First United Methodist Church. I was baptized there and went with my family for many years. In my mid-teens, I went to a little country church for a while and then returned to the family church as a young adult. I didn’t want to just assume that I’d feel most comfortable returning to the church I grew up in, so I shopped around for a while. I visited several churches in town over several weeks and experienced very different ways of worship. When I went to North Carolina Wesleyan College, one of the required courses was Religious History. During that course, I studied all the major religions, including all the different denominations within the Christian religion. I found it fascinating and really enjoyed that class. As I visited the different churches in my shopping expedition, I was reminded of what I learned about Christianity in that class. Although all Christian religions have a similar thread, they all tend to have their own views, interpretations, and formats for worship. I really enjoyed each and every service I attended – each for their own special features – and I participated in some very touching ceremonies. For instance, one Sunday the church I attended held a renewal of vows for a couple who had been married for 70 years – I was overwhelmed with emotion and I didn’t even know them – it was so beautiful! Some congregations were a little more openly friendly than others, but in every single one there were multiple people who noticed a new face and took the time to come over to greet me and thank me for visiting their church – I felt welcomed and included in every church I visited. But, when it came down to a final decision, I decided to make the Albion First United Methodist Church my home church once again. It is the same, but also not the same as it was all those years ago. The church, itself, is exactly as I remember it and the services are familiar and comfortable – as far as format and standard parts that are second nature to me. There are a few familiar faces, but for the most part, the congregation is made up of people I will need to get to know, so that is different. A couple of my neighbors also go there, so that is nice, as well. I also really like the pastor – he is new to the church, too – his first week was the first week I went after ending my shopping. I have found…….or should I say RE-found……..a church home and I am settling in as an active member. I went to the monthly ladies lunch a couple of weeks ago and am brushing up on my knitting and crocheting skills so that I can join the ladies prayer group that makes lovely prayer shawls to give out to members who are going through some tough times. I look forward to other activities that will gear up in the fall and finding out more about how I can contribute some of my time to the church.
The Orleans County Fair started up this week – yesterday, in fact. I always loved the fair and carnivals. Sadly, not many towns still have carnivals, but they do still have county fairs. I am hoping to take in some of the fun, food, and sights at the fair this week.
I went to Point Breeze this past Saturday – a lovely spot where Lake Ontario and the Oak Orchard River meet – with my nephew, his wife, and their son – my adorable 2-year-old great-nephew, Nolen! It was such a wonder-filled day having lunch with them and watching Nolen enjoy feeding the ducks and swans, throwing rocks into the lake, exploring for pretty stones for his Mommy, and checking out the lighthouse. It is one of my most favorite spots in the world and sharing it for the first time with a 2-year-old was an amazing adventure!
Well, I think I need to get on with my day……..I’ve spilled enough thoughts for one day and I need to check my Words With Friends boards to see if it is my turn to create words from random letters!